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McGrath's Fish House History


For more than years, McGrath’s has been able to have fresh seafood delivered daily to all our restaurants.

In 1980, John McGrath opened the first McGrath’s Fish House in downtown Salem, Oregon. The family, natives of the Northwest, had grown up fishing and harvesting crab, clams and oysters—so it seemed natural to open a seafood restaurant. With Salem close to the Oregon coast, there was an abundance of seafood available and no other seafood restaurants nearby. So with a shoestring budget, loans from the family, houses mortgaged and an SBA loan from the local bank—the first McGrath’s Fish House opened. The plan was to serve the freshest seafood at the lowest prices, so everyone could enjoy. And, they did! The restaurant was jammed with guests on the first day, and grew from there.

It soon became apparent that people loved seafood, especially when it’s fresh and prepared well. The homemade clam chowder became famous; there were lots of wonderful recipes and pies made by the family’s grandmother. Business continued to grow and numerous requests came from guests, for a McGrath’s Fish House in major markets throughout the Northwest. Teaming up with the local seafood supplier, McGrath’s was able to have fresh seafood delivered daily to most any western market.

Over the years, McGrath’s Fish House has made improvements to the buildings that are more interesting and appealing, the management team has worked hard to perfect operations, especially service. But the tradition of bringing fresh seafood daily, at the lowest possible price remains the same at every McGrath’s Fish House.


McGrath's Fish House, a Northwest Original
© McGrath's Fish House Restaurants. All rights reserved. Corporate Headquarters: 3000 Market Street NE, Suite 513, Salem, OR 97301.

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